AHHH Alice Oseman ahhh how do I express my excitement calmly?? I am so excited to finally have the beautiful hardback of Solitaire. I’m doing a re-read right now (meaning I will unfortunately not finish until school ends) and I am falling in love all over again with Alice and her genius. I am so thankful for young authors who write about such important and real issues.
Hi! I've got a couple questions about the YA Challenge, sorry. How many stories can a single author submit? Also, what extent of graphicness is allowed? I.e., profanity, sexual themes, etc.?
I don’t know that we have a limit, though I’ll check with the final decision makers on that one. I’d advise you to focus on one or two really good stories, regardless, because we’re only going to publish one from any author and entering the Young Author Challenge is not a guarantee that your story will be selected for publication. It’s definitely better to go for quality over quantity.
As far as graphicness, we want it to be appropriate to the story. If it’s important to character or plot development, go for it. We don’t want gratuitous profanity, sex, violence, etc., but if it serves a purpose beyond titillation, we want it. We’d be doing our writers and readers a disservice if we didn’t.
The thing is, not all stories are created equal in that sense. In some stories, it’s okay to fade to black or cut down on profanity because it doesn’t affect the overall arcs of the story and character development. However, when the story requires it, we help the author push the envelope as far as it needs to be pushed… and we’d do the same with any story selected for the anthology.
And when I say push the envelope as far as it will go, I really do mean that. We have a book where the characters are filming a gay porn scene, and we did not cut the sex in that particular scene. A lot of the other times they’re filming porn, it does fade to black, but that scene was important for both the plot of the story and the development of both main characters. It’s a heartbreaking, powerful scene, and it wouldn’t have been the same without the sex.
I’m sorry I can’t be more specific, but it really does depend on the story. I’ve done a series of posts on our website blog about this topic, if you want to read more.